Syllabus for HLS-510



This course will examine the development of various situations which have evolved since the day of the Terrorist’s attacks, on New York City and Washington, DC, on 9/11/01. Since that day, the events which transpired have been seen to have made many Americans feel more vulnerable than ever before. After the events of that day, the United States Congress quickly enacted the USA PATRIOT Act, which permitted a number of extraordinary and unprecedented changes to civil liberties without judicial oversight. This course will examine the US Patriot Act, along with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were initiated by the events of 9/11. This course will allow students the opportunity to examine and understand why the government and the public began to question and scrutinize the country’s intelligence mechanisms, and national security structure and procedures.

During this course there will an opportunity to examine the creation, development, and organizational structure of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of the examination of DHS, there will be opportunities to also examine entities such as the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) which was established after 9/11. This course will also examine other developments including the detention and torture of “enemy combatants” in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and consider whether the nation’s security needs justify the consequent restrictions on our freedoms.


After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. assess the expansion of the role of law enforcement into intelligence-gathering as a result of public concerns about terrorism. (CO1)
  2. examine and discuss the ability of law enforcement to meet the challenges of greater cooperation with intelligence and other government agencies in the fight against terrorism. (CO2)
  3. evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the re-organization of government agencies under the Department of Homeland Security. (CO3)
  4. assess and discuss  the methods and effectiveness of expanded surveillance powers given to law enforcement. (CO4)
  5. analyze constitutional and other legal issues raised by increased surveillance authority given by the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the USA PATRIOT Act. (CO5)
  6. analyze the policy and ethical issues surrounding the re-organization of the Immigration and Naturalization Service into the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and consequent changes in the treatment of immigrants, non-immigrants and illegal aliens. (CO6)
  7. analyze the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” to obtain intelligence in the context of national and international laws and ethics. (CO7)
  8. Explain how public policies are driven by the need for intelligence gathering. (CO8)


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

ISBN-13: 978-0534621698

ISBN-13: 978-0205005802

ISBN-13: 978-1591022343


Protecting the Homeland: Balancing Security and Liberty is a three-credit online course, consisting of five modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in five discussion forums.

It is extremely important that prior to beginning the assignments for this particular course that you locate, read, and understand the information regarding the required course materials for online participation guidelines. Be prepared to spend a lot of time in the discussion board area of the classroom engaging with your mentor and classmates. When presenting comments to classmates posting it is imperative that your comments contribute to the overall learning objectives of the course and address issues and items presented in the posting by your classmate of whose work you are posting a comment on in the discussion board area.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Note:  It is critical, in graduate work, to use information from peer reviewed articles when responding to the issues and questions in the discussion forums and written assignments activities.  When addressing the questions presented to you that you use textbooks (secondary sources) as a guide to steer you in the direction of understanding the overall picture of the issue you are examining. The best source of information is a (primary source). This information can be obtained from peer reviewed findings coming from a peer reviewed journal article. The most efficient and effective way in which to obtain relevant information to use to address your discussion board and your written assignment is to seek out peer reviewed work. The best way in which to locate these articles is by going to the Internet and search for scholarly journals that publish peer reviewed articles.  

Final Project

You are required to complete a final project based on your research on the issues of homeland security. Your will write a paper of 20 pages in length in which you will:

See the Final Project area of the course web site for further details.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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